Liberation of Buchenwald

“There was an air of unreality about that April day in Weimar, a feeling to which I found myself stubbornly clinging. I kept telling myself that I would believe the indescribably horrible sight in the courtyard before me only when I had a chance to look at my own photographs. Using the camera was almost a relief; it interposed a slight barrier between myself and the white horror in front of me.

This whiteness had the fragile translucence of snow, and I wished that under the bright April sun which shone from a clean blue sky it would all simply melt away. I longed for it to disappear, because while it was there I was reminded that men actually had done this thing — men with arms and legs and eyes and hearts not so very unlike our own. And it made me ashamed to be a member of the human race.” (Margaret Bourke-White)

Photo by Margaret Bourke-White – Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images (April 1945)

V-J Day In Times Square (The Kiss)



Alfred Eisenstaed’s portrait of the spontaneous jubilation that broke out with the announcement that World War II was over.

Eisenstaed recalled that the sailor was kissing every girls in sight and managed to get four snaps of him in a clinch with this nurse.

He never got their names, and while many credible contenders stepped forward over the years the LIFE magazine never conclusively confirm any of the claimants. Their identities remain a mistery; what they were feeling at that moment, does not!

Photo by Alfred Eisenstaed – Time & Life Pictures Getty Images (1945)

“Wait For Me, Daddy”


Wait For Me Daddy by Claude P. Dettloff, October 1, 1940. A line of soldiers march in British Columbia on their way to a waiting train.

It’s October 1, 1940 and photographer Claude P. Dettloff is standing on Columbia Street at 8th Street in New Westminster, his press camera up to his eye, preparing to take a shot. He’s focusing on a line of hundreds of men of the B.C. Regiment marching down 8th to a waiting train. Soldiers of the Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles are marching past. Suddenly, in the view-finder, Detloff sees a little white-haired boy tugging away from his mother’s grasp and rushing up to his father in the marching line.

“Wait For Me, Daddy” becomes the most famous Canadian picture of the Second World War, and one of the most famous of all war pictures. And it was a fluke, a one-in-a-million shot.

Photo by Claude P. Dettloff (1940)